asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that most architects and surveyors in country districts consider that the lightness of the timber scantlings, as ordered in his plans for agricultural cottages, is not sufficient to enable the rafters to carry plain tiles and will lead to roof troubles in a few years; and whether he will increase the measurements, of the three inches by one and a half-inch rafters spaced at 16-inch centres, to avoid this danger?
My hon. and gallant Friend no doubt has in mind the notes, prepared in consultation with the Ministry of Works, which have been issued to my regional architects as a guide to the sizes of roof timbers which would in normal circumstances secure the maximum economy in timber in the construction of the cottages. These notes are not intended as instructions to the rural district councils concerned. It rests with the responsible designer employed by a council to specify an appropriate roof structure having regard to the type of covering to be used and the exposure of the site. A proposal to use a design involving an amount of timber exceeding that indicated in the notes will be given full consideration.